The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of asymmetrical load carrying on lower-limb kinetics during walking in healthy, habitual high-heeled shoe wearers.
Fifteen women with no previous musculoskeletal or neurological injuries, participated in the study.
All women wore high-heeled shoes at least three times a week for three years.
Kinematic and kinetic data were collected and analysed using a motion analysis system, coupled with three force plates recording ground reaction force at 1,000 Hz.
Three different weights of asymmetrical load - 0%, 5% and 10% of body mass - were tested during normal waking in each participant wearing flat-heeled shoes and 9-cm stiletto high-heeled shoes.
Participants walked across the 8m testing area at a comfortable speed in each walking condition.
One full gait cycle per foot was analysed. Gait events were identified via visual observation of the motion and force data.
Lower-limb kinetic measurements of hip, knee and ankle angles in all three planes were obtained.
Walking in high-heeled shoes and asymmetrically carrying a load of 5% or 10% body weight, resulted in significant differences in joint loading between the loaded and unloaded lower limbs.
There was also a significant change in joint moments of the hip, knee and ankle in the frontal and sagittal planes.
It was also observed that walking in high-heeled shoes and carrying a load of 10% body weight resulted in a more remarkable effect on joint loading of the lower limb.
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